The Funny, the Empowering, the Lifesaving…

The last couple weeks, even smiley ol’ me needed some help finding things to laugh about. Fortunately, my friends and Facebook came through…

A fellow coffee lover posted this hilariousness….

I also saw this awesomeness that spoke to my inner music lover…

And my hilarious and awesome buddy, Anna, from Herding Cats and Burning Soup posted this to our Kinkery group…(so you know it’s going to be both hilarious and naughty)

And this morning, I saw this particular review shared on facebook regarding Veet Mens Hair Removal….I laughed so hard I cried. Those of you who’ve followed me for a while on here know just how seriously I take Manscaping. 😀

So thanks! Ya’ll didn’t know how much your posts brightened an otherwise tough week for me.

And then there were some truly sweet and empowering things that people shared.

My friend, author Kristy K. James, shared this story about Taylor Swift and her going out of her way to send a special message to a fan who was being bullied. It moved me to tears.

Another friend posted the video for the new Colbie Caillat song, Try. Talk about powerful and empowering. A message reminding us to be ourselves! We’re beautiful just the way we are. I know that this message is near and dear to my friend, August McLaughlin’s heart.

And then there’s the lifesaving….

Lately we’ve talked about how technology has changed the world, and often not in a good way. But there have also been some amazing things that have come from the tech world. Did you see how an App saved a baby’s life?

Check out this story about the Pulse Point app…. How cool is that?

So, despite all the ups and downs, there has been a lot of “cool” thrown in there, too. What about you guys? What things have made you laugh, touched your heart, or simply made you want to share? And if you have a smart phone, what apps have you found that make a difference in your life (or maybe someone else’s)?

Winners, Losers, Technology, and Life

Someone close to me once confided in me after her son committed suicide that she wished she’d taught him coping skills, then she asked me how it was that my mom managed to instill this ability in my sister and me. Although I gave her an answer, her regret had stuck with me. We’ve all heard that hindsight is 20/20, but for her this was a very painful reality with no ‘do overs.’

As she talked, there were things that she looked back on and wondered ‘what if.’ What if she’d worried a little less about him feeling accepted? What if she allowed other family members to voice criticism instead of not allowing anything negative to be said? What if she’d taken her children to church more often? What if they hadn’t given him everything he ever wanted?

It seems to me that two things in our society have been rapidly and consistently gaining large ground. They’re not exactly what I’d call bad or evil, just dangerous if not balanced…and we’re not. Balanced, that is. It’s become a bit of an epidemic and it’s starting early.

When did losing become evil? Countless numbers of my friends and family have talked about the concept of not keeping score for the youngsters just starting out in organized sports or no grades on a report card. The concern is that children need to feel accepted. (And probably to deter the hyper competitive parents from causing scenes.) Don’t get me wrong. I’m all for acceptance, but there are several very important life lessons to be learned in both winning and losing. As for the parents? If you’ve watched Dance Moms or any of the kiddie beauty pageant shows you know that those kinds of people are going to be that way with or without a score.

The first lesson is you’re not always going to be good at everything right away and that’s okay. Some are going to have certain natural gifts while others will need to work at it. There are countless examples from Michael Jordan to Emmitt Smith who were told they weren’t good enough, or big enough, or talented enough to make it, but with hard work and dedication to their dream, they still found a way to make it happen. The second is that there will always be naysayers in your life. It’s your choice whether or not to give them the power to give up your dreams. Third is that regardless of how badly you may want something, sometimes you just won’t have the ability and/or tools to make that dream a reality. It doesn’t mean you stop dreaming…it just means you learn from it; discover the things you are good at and find another dream.

Of course there are also the obvious lessons. Learning to be graceful as you’re winning or losing. Learning that losing a battle doesn’t mean you’ve lost the war. It just may be a temporary setback. Shaking an opponent’s hand in recognition of their job well done (or maybe yours), while strategizing on what you can do to improve your own results next time. Most importantly, winning doesn’t make you a better person than everyone else, and losing isn’t the end of the world. After all, in the real world, no one is going to pull punches. You won’t get a job just because you applied. You may lose a job or relationships. If you’ve never been taught how to handle them as a child, how will you know what to do when you lose the shield of parents and/or youth?

The other thing I’ve noticed is how completely we’ve allowed technology and social media to take over our lives, and not in a good way. Direct communication with people is becoming less and less frequent, and it’s everyone’s loss. By not looking someone in the eyes and talking, we’re becoming desensitized to the people around us.

Twice in the last two days I’ve cringed over the lack of care shown at the devastation of others seen online. I choose not to post the video clip or articles from the two events, but many of you may recognize the stories anyway (and may have seen them for yourselves).

The first happened on Saturday when a close friend expressed her rage over a video clip seen on Facebook. It was supposed to depict the dangers of texting and driving; a message with which I firmly agree. Her problem? When she’d clicked the video she thought it would be a reenactment, but it wasn’t. It was, in fact, a live videotaping of a motor vehicle accident where fatalities and severe injuries had occurred, recorded in all it’s gory glory. Besides the deceased in the video, there were the injured people. The problem was that while all this was being recorded it showed the severely wounded lying on the ground, people (including police) milling around, the injured appearing to be all but ignored. The person recording not being asked to stop. This video was put up on YouTube for the world to watch. It made my friend and I wonder if they took the families of the dead and wounded into account.

The second item was of a young lady who was allegedly drugged, then raped. Apparently she had no idea this even occurred until she discovered that nude and compromising photos of her went viral. One of the perpetrators to the alleged crime sent out all sorts of mocking tweets about the night in question after she went to the police. A potential rape victim splattered online, mocked, then bullied? Are we really so desensitized to the pain of others that this doesn’t bother us?

Then, as if the universe was sending me a message, I heard something coming from the living room. Last night, while I was working on a project, my hubby was watching Girl Meets World (Yeah, we were both Boy Meets World fans, so we decided to check out the new show). The subject turned out to be cell phones! How utterly appropriate, right?

Turns out, Cory has followed in Mr. Feeny’s footsteps, and is now teaching the lessons. I loved that he forced his class to go “old school.” In the beginning of the episode his daughter couldn’t even say “hello” to her crush. It had to come through her phone. By the end….

Maybe I’m over reacting. I mean, I’m the girl who didn’t even have a tv in her home until she was 7. I lived in other countries without the benefit of a phone in my own home until I was 10. I didn’t play video games growing up. I climbed trees, played tackle football in the yard, played school and library (my mom made me stop trying to collect actual late fees on my “library books” from my sister). I wrote my own stories and told them to my younger siblings to entertain them. Am I saying the way I was raised is the right way and everyone else’s is wrong? Not at all! I’m simply saying that maybe we need to find a way to be more engaged in the world around us again instead of hiding behind our phones, tablets, and computer screens.

Care to share your thoughts?

Sext and the Modern Age

Many of you may not know this, but my “real world” career outside of writing is actually within the wireless electronics industry.

Yes, that means I’m a pro with smart phones, tablets, etc. It also means I keep up with a lot of the trends…and have usually tried them before they became the cool thing to do. 😉

Selfies? Yeah…I think I started doing that 8 years or so ago.

Sexting? It was a think long before the Favre scandal or Anthony’s Weiner was exposed… 😉

So when Ande Lyons, the Passion Curator for Bring Back Desire, invited me to write a post about relationships and sexting, I jumped at the opportunity. I think it gets a bad rap….and you guys know how I can be when I’m discussing a topic I’m passionate about. Ya’ll have got to stop on over and check it out. Your support or thoughts would be greatly appreciated!

Are there any new trends in technology that have wowed or intrigued you? Anything you’ve heard people talk about surrounding technology that you were afraid to ask about because you didn’t want to sound stupid? Share with me….I’ll try to explain as best as I can…or maybe one of the other folks on here will dive on in.

In the meantime, I’ll share a little snippet from my book, Four One Night, with you guys where my heroine, Dani, definitely uses her cell phone to bring on the fun…

Four One Night WEBSITE USE

 

Shaking my head and smiling at our antics, I dialed Michael, glad her mood had lightened with my playful distraction. With the receiver to my ear, the muted strains of “My Cherie Amour” floated through instead of a ring. The frigid air whipped through the thin cotton of my shirt causing a shudder to ripple through my curvy frame. I grabbed for my key fob and quickly pressed the unlock button.

“Hey babe,” his dark, raspy voice came on the line. “What’s up?”

“Well, that all depends on you,” I purred as my hands motioned Candace to get in the car. “Work was nuts and Candace and I need to blow off some steam. We’re headed over to Club Heat for ladies night. Will you join us or do we need to find some other sexy men to play with?”

“Ooh, someone’s feeling feisty.” I could practically see his smile through the rumble in his voice. “I love it when Miss Dani comes out to play.”

“Then you’re gonna love me tonight.” Grabbing the handle, I tugged my door open. Finally out of the chilled air and in the driver’s seat, I slammed the door shut and shoved my key in the ignition.

“Two wild women looking to unleash themselves after a bad day?” The little beep of his car alarm being released sounded through the receiver followed by the slam of the door. “That may be more than I can handle alone.”

Tipping my head against my shoulder to cradle the phone, I turned the key in the ignition, quickly followed by the heater. “Michael Gallo! Afraid you might need reinforcements?”

Music flared in the background as he started his car. “Afraid is such a strong word. I prefer to think of it as being prepared for any eventuality.”

“Well, you know how I feel. The more, the merrier. Hot men and alcohol make everything better!” With one last look in my rear view mirror, I shifted into drive, leaving our bad day in the dust.

His rich laughter slid through me, warming me from the inside. “Good. I’ll give James a call and we’ll see you soon.”

I nodded. “Sounds like a plan.”